DAILY GRIND

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

De­ceiv­ing the brain is no easy task.

But it comes nat­u­rally to Caryn Trupp­man now.

As a Feldenkrais prac­ti­tioner the Pt Che­va­lier res­i­dent has spent the last 20 years break­ing peo­ple’s mus­cu­lar habits and cre­at­ing bet­ter eas­ier ways to move.

‘‘One of the ways you do that is you take the move­ment out of the nor­mal frame of ref­er­ence and the brain doesn’t know what you are do­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘You are teas­ing the brain, trick­ing the brain to cre­ate new move­ment pat­terns and new neu­ral pathways.’’

Since start­ing out in 1995 she has carved out a niche work­ing with chil­dren, es­pe­cially those who have con­di­tions which af­fect learn­ing or move­ment devel­op­ment like cere­bral palsy.

‘‘My job is to set lit­tle sparks so the child self ig­nites,’’ she says.

And if that mo­ment hap­pens, it makes ev­ery­thing worth­while.

‘‘You give th­ese chil­dren the pos­si­bil­ity to de­velop those move­ments that they can’t do on their own and all the other things start to come into play.’’

‘‘If I give a ner­vous sys­tem, your ner­vous sys­tem, in­for­ma­tion to make some­thing eas­ier it will take it up.’’

When Trupp­man started her four year train­ing she al­ready had de­grees in bi­ol­ogy and early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion un­der her belt and was look­ing for some­thing ‘‘in­tel­lec­tu­ally rig­or­ous’’ to sink her teeth into.

Moshe Feldenkrais was born in the Ukraine in 1904 and moved to Pales­tine as a teenager.

He boasted both a doc­tor­ate in ap­plied physics and a black belt in judo.

Af­ter a se­vere sports in­jury he de­voted the rest of his life to study­ing the struc­ture and func­tion of the hu­man ner­vous sys­tem and came up with a way to in­crease aware­ness of and cor­rect poor habits in how we move.

He be­lieved most of us use our bod­ies in­ef­fi­ciently but that the hu­man brain has ex­tra­or­di­nary ca­pac­ity to re­learn and change.

And so there’s a lot of talk about re­plac­ing limited and dis­or­gan­ised move­ment pat­terns and cre­at­ing new neu­ral pathways.

Trupp­man says it has led to a ca­reer that is al­ways in­ter­est­ing.

‘‘No two peo­ple do any­thing the same. We are all dif­fer­ent. It is fas­ci­nat­ing to see what peo­ple do,’’ she says.

‘‘If you sprain an an­kle you make a slight ad­just­ment, that is why as peo­ple get a lit­tle older they’ve a sprained an­kle, they’ve done a knee, they’ve done this and that and have all th­ese lit­tle ad­just­ments.’’

The Miami na­tive says they aren’t al­ways the best ad­just­ments and that is be­cause in to­day’s so­ci­ety peo­ple don’t have to do much to get bet­ter.

‘‘You don’t have to go and chase an an­te­lope for your din­ner, you just have to make it to the car.

‘‘The ner­vous sys­tem is lazy, it just does ex­actly what it needs to get back to func­tion, and that is it, it doesn’t care about per­fect func­tion.’’

It was a dance in­jury that set Trupp­man on the path to learn­ing the method.

‘‘I had this in­jury and I’d been see­ing peo­ple for it for some time. I had two Feldenkrais ses­sions and that was it.’’

She says it is the very real re­sults of ban­ish­ing pain, feel­ing lighter and more lim­ber that con­vert peo­ple to the method.

‘‘With Feldenkrais we care that you have beau­ti­ful func­tion and we will work for beau­ti­ful func­tion, that is the dif­fer­ence. And then, of course, you don’t have pain.’’

Go to feldenkrais-auck­land.co.nz for more in­for­ma­tion.

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